|by Bill Bawden, PRO|
30 April 2006
HOW BRITAIN WON THE SCHNEIDER TROPHY
The guest speaker at the April meeting was Jamie D'Arcy Greig, a former Fleet Air Arm pilot, whose subject was not his own experiences but those of his father who was a member of the winning British team in the Schneider Trophy air race of 1929. Jamie told how, in the absence of government support, the generosity of Lady Houston, who gave the then enormous sum of £100,000, enabled the High Speed Flight to continue to compete and win the trophy outright in 1931 after a third consecutive victory.
The Spitfire was, of course, the direct descendent of the trophy-winning Supermarine seaplanes designed by R.J. Mitchell, and it is with regret that we record the recent deaths of two former Spitfire pilots among our Branch members.
Mervyn Young flew with 129 and 72 Squadrons and took part in sorties in support of the Dieppe raid in 1942 and many other operations. John Power flew Spitfires with No 2 Squadron before becoming a test pilot on Meteors and Canberras and subsequently a commercial pilot with BOAC and other companies.
A third sad loss was the sudden death of Alec Dunbar. Although an "associate", there were few more enthusiastic branch members than Alec, who spent his whole adult life in aviation including posts at our host venue of Fairoaks aerodrome. Alec was an "ever-present" and at one time a superb branch entertainments officer. We wiil miss them all.
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